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Video: NSW driver chucks coffee cup at cyclist, tailgates him through stop sign and flips the finger– so of course, the Daily Mail asks “who’s in the wrong?”

Aussie edition of cyclist-hating media outlet gives its own take on footage shot in country’s most cyclist-hostile state

“Who’s ​in the wrong?” That’s Daily Mail Australia’s rather arresting take on an incident in Sydney in which a motorist appeared to throw a coffee cup at a cyclist before tailgating him through a stop sign at a roundabout and, with a final flourish, flips him the bird.

We’ve published plenty of stories on road.cc over the years about how hostile the roads of Australia, and New South Wales in particular, can be for cyclists.

And we’ve published plenty of stories about anti-cyclist pieces published by the Daily Mail and its associated titles, whether in print or online – including how it campaigned to get rid of the emergency cycle lanes briefly installed last year outside its headquarters on Kensington High Street.

> 10 of the most hysterical anti-cycling Daily Mail headlines

Even by those combined standards though, the story – headlined Who’s the most entitled in this video? Inner-city hatchback driver divides the internet by lobbing his LATTE at a cyclist – but not everyone agrees he's in the wrong – is a depressing take on an incident in which it’s a driver putting a cyclist in danger.

Moreover, it’s a video – subsequently uploaded to Cycliq’s Facebook page – shot with a rear-facing camera, so the full extent of the abuse would only have been apparent to the rider on reviewing the footage once safely home.

Depressing, too, is the fact that Daily Mail Australia ran a poll about the video asking, “Who’s in the wrong?” and that, at the time of writing, 71 per cent of more than 150 people who have voted say it’s the cyclist, and just 29 per cent the driver.

It seems that in part, Daily Mail Australia’s take on the video is due to a severe misunderstanding of the road rules in New South Wales, stating in a sub-heading to the article that “The cyclist was in the middle of the road, but should ride on the left hand side.” 

That is in fact, for want of a better word, bollocks.

Here’s what the New South Wales Road User Handbook – the equivalent there of the UK’s Highway Code – actually says:

Bicycle riders must use bicycle lanes (part of the road dedicated to bicycles) where there’s one. If there’s not, or it’s not practical to use, they have the right to ride on the road. This includes riding in the middle of a lane.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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19 comments

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Philh68 | 2 years ago
1 like

It's not bollocks. Both motorists and bicyclists are required to drive/ride as far left as practicable in the lane unless it's a multilane road. Only motorcyclists are free to ride anywhere in the lane on a single lane road. The driver handbook isn't a legal document or interpretation of the law, which is set out in the 2014 road act.

This is one of the areas where there is inconsistency in the law. NSW police would be just as likely to fine the cyclist for not riding as far left as practicable in the lane, even though there are bicycle symbols painted on the road in the video to indicate recommended lane position. It should be noted that the law also requires you to be as close to the road centreline as practicable when turning right, something even police don't seem to understand. Causes a lot of aggro with drivers who think intersections are the place for them to get past you.

I'm not even sure this is a new clip, it looks like one I've seen on YouTube from a few years ago.

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Rendel Harris replied to Philh68 | 2 years ago
5 likes

NSW Road Rules
129   Keeping to the far left side of a road

(1)  A driver on a road (except a multi-lane road) must drive as near as practicable to the far left side of the road.
Maximum penalty—20 penalty units.
Note—
Multi-lane road is defined in the Dictionary.

(2)  This rule does not apply to the rider of a motor bike.
Note—
Motor bike is defined in the Dictionary.

(3)  In this rule—
road does not include a road related area.

That's all it says, no mention of cyclists (and it specifically states at the start of the Act that a cyclist is not a driver).

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GMBasix replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
2 likes

Also, "practicable" ≠ "possible"

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cmedred | 2 years ago
4 likes

Ah yes, the old "how dare you get ahead of me by filtering road-rage attack.'' That seems to be one of the few global universals in bad driving behavior.

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eburtthebike | 2 years ago
5 likes

Co-incidentally "Daily Mail moves offices to Eighth Circle of Hell - to save on the commute"

https://www.thenewselephant.co.uk/daily-mail-moves-offices-to-eighth-cir...

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portec | 2 years ago
3 likes

Sydney drivers. I don't miss them one bit. So glad I don't live in that craphole any more.

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eburtthebike | 2 years ago
15 likes

"Daily Mail asks “who’s in the wrong?”

The Daily Mail.

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teakay | 2 years ago
10 likes

Next week they will run an article about a rider being doored as they cycled past a parked car. Those that complained the cyclists was in the middle of the lane in this video will now blame cyclists for riding too close to parked cars.

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0-0 | 2 years ago
0 likes

Is there supposed to be a video? All I see is a blank space between the text.

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markieteeee replied to 0-0 | 2 years ago
2 likes

The video is there for me but when I click play, it only allows me to proceed if I allow Facebook access to my data, which I do not want. When I select 'don't allow' I am not allowed to view the video.  Perhaps you already have denied facebook access to your data, so your browser remembers your choice.

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lukei1 | 2 years ago
12 likes

Funnily enough, while the Australian fetish for law enforcement is ignored when it comes to cyclist safety, I've seen an example of this from Melbourne I think where the cyclist knew there was no point reporting it to the police, so reported the driver for littering instead and I think landed them with a A$400 (£250) fine. 

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squidgy replied to lukei1 | 2 years ago
2 likes
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AlsoSomniloquism replied to squidgy | 2 years ago
0 likes

From the full video it looks like Road Rage to me and to some extent maybe from both parties. Did the cyclist do anything when he stopped at the junction and filtered through in retaliation for the bad pass earlier? It does seem noticeable the cyclist seemed to go faster after the first incident to deliberately catch up. Whatever he did (if anything) the driver seems to make a sudden decision to go straight on to get close enough to throw the cup and tail gate. 

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Philh68 replied to lukei1 | 2 years ago
1 like

I've known of cases in NSW where that has happened. One not far from me, a cyclist was hit with a cup full of ice cubes (not far from a McDonalds, go figure). The EPA took the driver to court, which means the driver refused to pay the fine. The EPA won. Never heard if the police took any action though.

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Hirsute replied to Philh68 | 2 years ago
0 likes

EPA?
What is that for us Brits?

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mdavidford replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
1 like

Early prototype of EPO?

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grOg replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
0 likes

Environment Protection Authority.. 

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brooksby replied to lukei1 | 2 years ago
0 likes

Isn't the Aus fine system something like "speeding while driving in a residential area - $1.50" / "speeding while riding a bike in a residential area - $300" / "riding with no helmet - $20,000"...?

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grOg replied to lukei1 | 2 years ago
0 likes

This is a common tactic to punish motorists for road rage but haven't littered; obviously in this instance, there is video evidence of road rage littering.

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